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Sandalwood Essential Oil: Its Origin, Uses, and Benefits

Common Name: Sandalwood

Latin Name: Santalum album

Aromatherapy Uses: sandalwood essential oil is used for the respiratory system for ailments such as bronchitis, dry-persistent coughs, laryngitis, and sore throat. The oil also helps with depression, insomnia, nerves, stress, and also is used to treat Anxiety as well as being an Aphrodisiac. Overall it is a very relaxing and pleasing scent.

Discussion: Sandalwood is the wood of trees of the genus Santalum. It is used for incense, aromatherapy, and perfume, rather than building or carpentry, though temples have been built with sandalwood in India and retain the aroma after centuries. It is said to have been used for embalming the corpses of native princes in Ceylon since the 9th century. It is a deep base note and excellent fixative and is used to capture the head space aromas of other essential oils in distilling.

Indian sandalwood (Santalum album) is currently in serious shortage and very expensive. Those from Mysore region of southern India are generally considered to have the highest quality. Some aroma therapists and perfumers are using Australian sandalwood (S. spicatum) as an alternative. The two species differ in the concentrations of constituent chemicals and, thus, in odor. West Indian sandalwood (Amyris balsamifera) is neither Indian nor in the sandalwood family; it is in the rue family.

Oil Extraction Method: Sandalwood Essential Oil is obtained by steam distillation of the powdered and dried heartwood and roots of the tree.

Oil Characteristics: Sandalwood Essential Oil is a pale greenish/yellow liquid with a gelatinous consistency having a deep sweet woody scent.

Scent Blending: Sandalwood Essential Oil can be blended well with Bergamot, Jasmine, Lavender, Myrrh, Patchouli, and Rose.

Plant Distribution: the Sandalwood tree is native to Asia. India is the main essential oil producer, although some oil is distilled in Europe and the USA. Sandalwood trees are currently on the endangered species list, which is partly why it is so expensive to obtain.

Safety Notes: Sandalwood is non-irritant, non-sensitizing, and non-toxic.

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